Drivers beware – your child car seat may not be covered by your car insurance policy, new research shows.
One in four car insurance policies offer no protection for child car seats, which could leave parents out of pocket if something were to go wrong.
The figures also revealed that less than half of UK car insurance policies will pay out the full cost of replacing a damaged car seat.
In the UK, any child under the age of 12 or 135 cm in height can only travel in a car if they are in a recognised child car seat of booster seat.
Find out how to ensure you get the right level of cover from your car insurance at a competitive price.
Does car insurance cover car seats?
A quarter of car insurance policies (67 out of 267) don’t cover car seats, according to new data from Defaqto.
Less than half of car insurance providers will pay the full cost of replacing child car seats damaged in an accident and only 44% of policies (117 out of 267) were found to do so.
Nearly 31% of car insurance policies (83 out of 267) offered limited cover for car seats, choosing only to pay out a certain amount per seat.
The table below shows how much cover insurers will pay out per child car seat on average.
|Car seat cover||No. of policies|
|£100 per seat||36|
|£150 per seat||9|
|£250 per seat||2|
|£300 per seat||1|
|£500 per seat||1|
Some car insurers also limit the overall amount that they will pay out to replace car seats, regardless of the number that may have suffered damage. For drivers travelling with multiple children in the car, this can become quite expensive.
- Find out more: best and worst car insurance
Average cost of a child car seat
The child car seats that are currently on the Which? Best Buy list range from £80-£409, but prices will vary among retailers.
Some manufacturers offer a child car seat replacement service if it’s been damaged in an accident.
Maxi-Cosi, for example, will swap your damaged car seat for a brand new replacement if you can’t get cover from your car insurance provider. This service applies to all Maxi-Cosi car seats of any age.
Manufacturer, Kiddy, also offer a child car seat replacement service.
Any Kiddy car seat involved in an accident can be returned for a free replacement up to six years after the purchase date, even if your child car seat is already covered by your car insurance policy. You must also claim within three months after the car accident takes place.
Both schemes will require you to submit evidence of the accident, including a police report and insurance report.
You should replace a child car seat if it was in the car at the time of an accident, even if there is no visible damage. This is because some of the safety mechanisms may have been weakened during the impact.
- Find out more: Which car seat do you need for your newborn, baby or child?
Finding the right car insurance policy
Finding the right car insurance policy can be tricky and, at times, overwhelming.
Following these tips can help make sure that you get the right level of car insurance cover for a competitive price.
Shopping around can help you save hundreds of pounds on your car insurance premium. Avoid going for the cheapest deal though, as it may not give the level of cover you need.
Be sure to read the terms and conditions of prospective policies before actually buying them.This will help make sure that you get the right level of cover and aren’t caught out by any unexpected exclusions or limitations.
Another thing to bear in mind when looking for car insurance is the quality of customer service on offer. This can make all the difference when it comes to making a car insurance claim.
To give you a hand finding the best car insurance policy, we’ve combined expert Which? analysis of over 30 standard car insurance policies with feedback from thousands of policy holders to produce independent car insurance reviews.
You can also find more useful tips in our car insurance advice guides and the short video below.